30 Jan 2012

Facebook about to list - WSJ

6:59 am on 30 January 2012

Facebook is reportedly about to start the process of becoming a publicly listed company, which will value the world's largest social networking site at between $US75 - $US100 billion.

The Wall Street Journal says papers for an initial public offering will be filed with regulators on Wednesday.

The share float is expected to raise $US10 billion.

The company was started by Mark Zuckerberg and fellow students at Harvard University in 2004 and is one of the world's most popular websites. It makes most of its money through advertising.

The BBC says the reports suggest that Morgan Stanley will be the lead underwriter for the sale, with Goldman Sachs also expected to be heavily involved.

As a private company, Facebook does not have to publish its accounts, but reports in January last year suggested a document sent by Goldman Sachs to clients showed the firm made a net profit of $US355 million on revenues of $US1.2 billion in the first nine months of 2010.

The BBC reports Google raised $US1.9 billion when it went public in 2004. However, General Motors raised $US20 billion in November 2010.